Crimson River Part III

Oh, how she wished
To see something
Other than the frosty white
That covered her surroundings with all its might

Her keen grey eyes
Spotted all
From the grey cat that tore her frock
To the grey men that tore her land

Oh! How she wished
To see something
Other than the frosty white
That covered her surroundings with all its might

At night, she heard a private concert
With carpets falling from the skies
And brick grinding to rubble
A concert indeed, just for her lucky ears!

Some mornings, she hit the jackpit
Where she awoke to see
The frosty white that covered her
Surroundings with all its might

Replaced by ashen grass
And charred lands
How the white had some colour
And no longer a pale pallor

But one morning,
Oh! What luck she had
For the skies blazed orange
And the frosty white that covered her
Surroundings with all its might

Finally wore a rouge blush.
Chased by brown dots
Her grey eyes found the black hollow
And alas, her wish was granted

As she joined the crimson river. 




Third installment in my 3 part series titled Crimson River
This one is about a civilian killed in combat
Do read parts I and II



Aren’t Ordure and Odour the Same?

They cover their noses as I walk by
As if my very stench is polluting
One whiff and they bring out the gangajal
But do I not smell exactly like them?

They complain about my impurity
Yet ,they don’t let me even touch the tap
Tell me, how then am I
Supposed to become pure like them?

My child is not allowed to sit on the desk
They say she’ll contaminate the others
How is she supposed to learn
Through closed blinds and latched doors?

Or are her textbooks
The broom and dirt underneath
Their feet? Teaching her that
Her worth is all that she can clean?

I can’t use the same teacup as them
The cracked mould is all that I have
Broken like my unbending spine
Are my coins worth less than theirs?

My shadow, oh what tales they spin.
Its crimes are worth too many
A broom hence is tied to my back
To pay for the sins that my body lacks.

They say I am impure
My very existence a blight on their souls
But aren’t ordure and odour the same?
For me they are.

Who am I, you ask?
My name is one they use often
“Ai municipality, come clean this!”
They shout as they walk out of thatched doors
“Ai municipality, come clean this!”
Is what I’m forever christened.


A Response to My Brother’s Anger At My Never-ending Feminism

My brother asks, annoyed “What then, is your ideal of equality between the sexes?!”

I take a deep breath and reply:

“It is a world where Eve isn’t villianised,
And banished
For simply being curious
And wanting to know what was out of her reach

A world where Sita isn’t made to walk through burning flames,
To prove that she’s untouched;
But Ram’s purity remains unquestioned

Where Paanchali-
Who wasn’t even Yudhistar’s to stake-
Isn’t pawned off in an attempt to humiliate her husbands

But not a single person considers it wrong,
Because it’s written down in texts age old
That it is but right.

Where Malala isn’t shot by the Taliban
At 15 for demanding
And standing up for her rights
Rights that she shouldn’t have to die for

Where foetuses aren’t killed by the millions
For having two X chromosomes
And female infants aren’t drowned
In boiling liquids as hot as their perpetrator’s anger

A world that doesn’t protect an acclaimed boy
Who is a sexual offender
And a world that doesn’t ask
But what was she wearing?

A world where if my son shall
Like another boy
He is not a criminal
Because love knows no gender, race, creed or religion

It is a world where my father’s ‘honour’ does not lie in my actions

A world where you aren’t actively taught to be afraid of crying
And to constantly wear the face of ‘masculine power’
Where you aren’t pressurised
To be something you don’t want to be

A world which does not celebrate and congratulate you
If your 8th grade teacher took advantage of you
Instead, feels ashamed
And rages and outcries at the injustice

A world that doesn’t treat a man’s depression
Like a joke- like something malfunctioned
And unnatural like it isn’t real
But acknowledges his right to feel something
And validates his meek emotions

A world where both sons and daughters
Are taught to
Be careful as they leave the house
And to behave themselves

It is a world that does not value you more than me
Or me more than you
But both of us equally.”